One of the (dare I say) backcountry skiing classics in this area of Colorado is Savage Peak. Located in the grey zone where the Sawatch Range transitions to the Gore Range, Savage provides everything from a vast southerly face of moderate corn harvesting, all the way to the Savage Couloir and associated steeps. What makes this a worthy objective is the rather tame approach via a plowed water road and a few hundred vert of timber. The route is straightforward — a map is probably all you need.
|Our family of three did Savage this morning. I was thinking of doing the Couloir but this winter’s huge cornices made the entrance hard to find, so rather than messing around we did the southerly reach. Another group was up there. When we left they were looking for the Couloir and I’d imagine they eventually found a way in. I’d skied the Couloir a few times, including what was probably the first descent back in 1997 with Bob Perlmutter and Jason Troth. So not a big deal to skip, though I would have liked Louie and Lisa to have enjoyed it. Photo above is Louie on the southerly face.|
|Lisa approaches the timber quickly, just above this nice waterfall. Check out the ice, May 25!|
|These guys were camping in the basin below the peak, and summited when we did. We exchanged names, but I didn’t write down the monikers. So guys, if you want to live forever on WildSnow.com leave a comment with your ID. Or, if that polka dot shirt is too much, perhaps you’d rather remain anonymous?|
|Family Wildsnow. Amazing how cold it was up there. To right that’s 14er Mount of the Holy Cross.|
|You might think Colorado’s Savage Peak is somewhat hidden and obscure, but when you’re driving up the Fryingpan Valley, from the town of Basalt, this is the view you get when you’re at the Ruedi Reservoir dam. Mellow backcountry ski route is marked. Savage Couloir is on opposite side.|
|Louie heads down, with Colorado’s consistently highest elevation region spread out before him — the northern Sawatch mountains. Please click image for massive enlargement (wait for file download).|